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Chronicle wrong in blaming Jeb Bush on votes

The Chronicle was half right. The voting problems in Florida are embarrassing. But blaming Governor Jeb Bush is somewhat akin to blaming the editor of a textbook because you didn't read it and failed the exam.

For Bush to be scapegoated by Janet Reno (or The Chronicle) for the failures of local officials is illogical and an example of the type of partisan bickering the editorial claims to abhor.

A simple Internet search located the relevant Florida election statutes, which The Chronicle should read. Title IX, Chapter 102, Sections 102.012 and 102.014 give the county supervisors of elections the responsibility for appointing the election boards that run elections and the inspectors and clerks that supervise the boards.

After 2000, reforms for modernized voting methods were passed. Voting in the vast majority of Florida counties went smoothly. In Miami, Dade and Broward, there were numerous problems, almost all of which can be blamed on human error (late poll workers, misinforming voters, not knowing how to operate the machines, etc.). Training and monitoring the workers is the responsibility of local county officials (who happen to be Democrats), not the governor. Logistics demand that elections be conducted and managed on the local level. Rules can be put in place by the state but it is up to local officials to implement them.

No voting system is infallible. The fact that the same two Florida counties experienced problems under two vote tabulation systems indicates a local problem with those actually running the election. But not to the Democrats, and, apparently, not to The Chronicle, either.


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